Founder’s Circle 2015: Part One

FC2015I’m home from my Founder’s Circle trip to St. George, Utah – and I’m excited to share some of my experience with you.  Founder’s Circle is a Stampin’ Up! incentive trip for this year’s Top 100 demonstrators.  What a treat!  We are flown out to beautiful St. George where we get to hang out with amazing demonstrators from the U.S. and Canada.

After four days of rest and relaxation (with an appropriate level of pampering), I’m completely exhausted.  Does that even make sense?  Here’s a peek at some of the wonderful moments from my trip.

Welcome Dinner

Stampin’ Up! hosted a wonderful dinner Wednesday night to welcome us all to St. George.  While the weather was amazing and the food was out-of-this-world, it was the people who made the evening so special.  Let me revise that statement:  it was the people who made that evening so special – AND the chocolate cake.  Better?

Here are my incredible table-mates from the Welcome Dinner:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian KingBack: Karen Trefla, Angela Waters, me, Kelly Acheson, Angie Juda Front:  Linda Heller, Lorri Heiling

We played games and got to know each other really well at our table.  Our seats were marked with a small, hand-painted canvas – each one was an original.  What a fun little gift to mark this special occasion!  You might not be able to see from this picture, but the two banners on the side of the picture have my name on them.

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

And then there was the cake…I’m not a huge fan of chocolate-on-chocolate.  Inside this delicious masterpiece was a mixture of chocolate cake and white cake with layers of caramel and cream fillings.  It’s possibly the most delicious cake I’ve ever had – and I’ve enjoyed a lot of cake in my life.  🙂  Each table was graced with one of these full-sized beauties:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

Hanging Out in The Gathering Place

While many people planned horseback riding and shopping excursions, many of us just stuck around the hotel and socialized with each other there.  Some were in the lobby (we had the entire hotel to ourselves), some were by the pool and others were in The Gathering Place, a meeting room that was set aside just for us.  That’s were we completed our swaps, made new projects with some new stamps and papers we received and lounged.  I spent many hours in the lobby of the hotel playing Phase 10, the worst card game in the history of all games (and I’m not saying that because it stretched out for hours or because Linda Heller beat me every single time).

Each day, we tossed a beanbag to win fun prizes.  Ribbon, paper, buttons.  Robynn joyfully shared the great selection of products when our beanbags hit the right spots on the board.

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian KingRonda Wade won jute ribbon in the beanbag toss on the first day.  What a great prize!  Here’s what she chose to do with that ribbon:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

Stampin’ Up! filled the Gathering Place with chocolates, candies and some healthy options.  This is a spread of fruits, cheeses, breads and a huge honeycomb filled with delicious honey (in the lower, right corner).

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

The night of the pajama party, I had to move some chairs.  When Selene Kempton tried to snap a photo, I put on a show for her.

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

Kanab Tour

One of the most memorable parts of the Founder’s Circle experience is traveling from St. George to Kanab, Utah where the stamps (and some other products) are manufactured.  Not only do we get to bond with one another for four hours in the bus that day, but we also get to complete a make-and-take, tour the facility, see Shelli’s on-site apartment and have lunch with the employees there.

We toured the area where they print to overlay labels for the photopolmer stamp sets.  This is the French version of the stamp set found in the Watercolor Wishes card kit – if you love that stamp set (and I know you do), it’s even more beautiful in French:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

This huge sheet of red rubber with multiples of the Thankful Forest Friends stamp set was cooling down and ready to be cut:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian KingAnd we watched an entire sheet of Festive Fireplace photopolymers hanging to let the wet resin roll off:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

Lisa Pretto had a ball cutting the large roll of red rubber in to usable sheets.  And those humongous gloves?  Well, they fit her hands like a glove.  That doesn’t make sense.

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

While at Kanab, we also toured Shelli’s apartment that’s right above the manufacturing facility.  She wasn’t there this year, but Sara Douglass (her amazing daughter) was.  I grabbed a quick photo op with Sara:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

And another with Sara, Linda Heller and Michelle Zindorf:

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian King

While Sara took pictures with other attendees in the living room, Lisa and I checked out the kitchen.  We delayed some of Sara’s photos in the other room because she had to yell for us to stop being naughty.  Lisa can be a bad influence on me.

Stampin' Up! Founders Circle 2015, Brian KingI hope you’ve enjoyed this write-up.  I’ll be back tomorrow to share some pictures of our final night in St. George and some of the great friends I hung out with while I was away.  I’m even sharing some projects with some great, new products.  You won’t want to miss it.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. Glad you had fun! The photos are great and I can’t wait for tomorrows post! See you then……

  2. Brian, I had the best time hanging out with you. My cheeks still hurt from smiling so much! Hugs!

  3. Thanks for sharing, looks like fun

  4. You are always enjoying life! So much fun to see all your pics!

  5. Love love these pictures ! What a fun time !

  6. Loved seeing this photos. Great moments and memories. Glad you were able to keep Lisa Pretto relatively under control. I realize SHE is the naughty one.

  7. I figured the banners had your name on them – thanks for confirming that! Great snaps as per usual, but I notice a sad lack of kitties!

  8. Looks like great fun! Stampin’ Up! sure treats us well! 🙂

  9. Impressive that SU takes ultra care of its demonstrators. Shelli Gardner does her job well.

  10. No I don’t want to miss it ! You made my day 🙂

  11. I always say, “Having fun is hard work.” You are proof positive. Glad you had an exhaustingly good time.

  12. Oh Brian – thanks so much for sharing all those photos from leadership! I have to admit that SU does it right! All of their demonstrator gatherings seem to be filled with so much fun, done so elegantly and full of free surprises but the leadership one is definitely the best. Everything is just beautiful and I truly did fall in love with the unique pieces of art designed specifically for each individual person. Their gatherings look like so much fun!

  13. El, a Stampin' Pretty Pal

    Thanks for sharing, Brian! I love hearing about these SU celebrations.

  14. It looks as though you had a blast!

  15. I’m so happy that you made the top 100 and were able to do this. Looks like it was a marvelous time with marvelous, fun, people! Thanks for sharing your experience with us! And my guess is that along with stamping, you inspire people to be naughtier than normal…..LOL

  16. Looks like fun! I treasure the picture you took with the fabtastic, LeeAnn Greff for me!

  17. What great snippets of what looks like a fantastic trip. Gosh you make me smile! Thanks Brian!

  18. Brian, you are just too fun!!!! If I did not already have a demonstrator… I’d HAVE to pick you as mine! 🙂

  19. What a wonderful treat, especially the Chocolate cake, the pic had my mouth watering….wow! Brian you and the other top Demonstrators deserve this royal treatments, you work were hard! Congrats!!!

  20. Ditto what Angie stated above BUT in reference to my upline! I have no idea what happened to my upline person!! She has been MIA for over a year. I’m an orphan! I don’t even know who her upline was either. 🙁

    TFS your trip! I loved the pics along with the storyline to each one and the drool I experienced while looking at the chocolate cake! LOL! 🙂

  21. Looks like a great time was had by all. Unfortunately, I don’t understand your comment about not liking chocolate-on-chocolate. THAT doesn’t make sense. 🙂

  22. I can feel the fun you had, just by reading your posts! Seeing those huge mats of rubber stamps must’ve been like seeing money printed at the US Mint! Thank you so much for sharing.

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